I just returned home from a fall break vacation trip to Destin, Florida. I guess it is now my official home away from home since my truck seems to head that way a couple of times a year. The city of Destin boasts of many great things. The beautiful white sands, crystal clear gulf waters, fine dining, golf, shopping and much more. Great places to stay are also a positive attribute that Destin has. Over the years we have settled on one place and that is the Holiday Surf and Racquet Club located on Gulf Shore Drive. All things considered we like staying there better than anywhere else we have tried. As a matter of fact, we have stayed there on several occasions now. The more we go the better we get to know the people there. Today’s column will focus on a man who is as much a part of the fabric at the Holiday Surf as the white sands and blue water.
The man I am speaking of is a fellow named Scott Sanders. You might say that Scott is the man in charge of beach services. In other words he puts the chairs out on the beach every single day for 10 months out of the year. He first takes his automatic drill and drills a hole in the sand for the umbrella. He then puts the umbrella in the ground and sets up chairs on each side of it. During peak season he may set out well over a hundred chairs. Scott, a college graduate from the University of West Florida at Pensacola, is the foremost authority on everything beach related. Whether it is Destin history, marine life, weather, restaurants, people or just whatever, Scott knows his stuff. Let me help you get a mental picture of Scott. Scott stands about 6 feet tall with long blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail. His skin is a leathery brown from years of long days in the sun. As a matter of fact, Scott has been doing his job on the beach for over 26 years. Most importantly, Scott is just a really good guy.
The day before we left Destin this year I made the following remark to Scott. I said, “Scott, I bet you have seen just about everything over the last three decades on the beach. Give me just one story to take home with me.” He said, “OK Coach, I will tell you one from my early days on the beach.” With that said, I saw Scott get a mischievous twinkle in his eye and he began to tell his story. (AND IT IS A TRUE STORY AT THAT)
Scott said, “It was in my early days of working on the beach here at Destin. One morning a big burly fellow that looked like Grisly Adams came down with a beautiful young lady at his side. When I say beautiful, I am talking Bo Derek type beautiful. She was a knock out. I was young, single and it was hard to take my eyes off her. All at once the big fellow snapped me back to attention by asking me a question.” He said, “Hey man, is there any rule against wearing thongs on this beach?” Upon hearing the question, Scott’s thoughts were filled with the prospect of the beautiful lady on his beach all week in a thong bikini. Scott replied, “No man, there are no written rules on this beach against thongs. As a matter of fact I will set you up with a couple of chairs right here beside me.” Did I mention Scott was a smart man?
After hearing Scott’s answer that there wasn’t any beach rules against thong bikinis, the big burly fellow cracked a smile from ear to ear. Then to Scott’s amazement the big fellow dropped his basketball trunks right there on the beach to reveal that it was he that was wearing the thong bikini. Scott said he simply couldn’t believe it. Scott went on to say, “ I learned a very valuable lesson that day. From that point on if a couple has ever asked me about wearing a thong bikini, I have always made sure to ask them one simple question. Which one of you plans on wearing the thong?”
I suppose the life lesson to be learned here is to always be careful what you wish for. You might just get it!
OT: Planning a trip to Destin? Let me know and I can hook you up with the Holiday Surf.
Enthusiasm Makes the Difference
Mike Wright is the head coach of boys basketball and cross country at Trigg County High School. Emails concerning Coach’s Corner can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.